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Stable isotopes reveal independent carbon pools across an Arctic hydro‐climatic gradient: Implications for the fate of carbon in warmer and drier conditions

Osburn, Christopher L.; Anderson, N. John; Leng, Melanie J.; Barry, Christopher D.; Whiteford, Erika J.

Authors

Christopher L. Osburn

N. John Anderson

Melanie J. Leng

Christopher D. Barry

Erika J. Whiteford



Abstract

Arctic lakes are poised for substantial changes to their carbon (C) cycles in the near future. Autochthonous processes in lakes which consume inorganic C and create biomass that can be sequestered in sediments are accompanied by allochthonous inputs of organic matter from the surrounding watershed. Both C sources can be mineralized and degassed as CO2, but also become recalcitrant and accumulate in pelagic waters. Using stable carbon isotope (δ13C) values and elemental ratios as geochemical proxies, we investigated diverse organic matter sources to lakes located across a hydro-climatic gradient in Southwest Greenland. Particulate organic matter (POM) and sediments were clearly of autochthonous algal origin, while dissolved organic matter (DOM) was a mix between autochthonous macrophytes and allochthonous watershed sources. Our results imply that a warmer and drier Arctic will lead to decoupled C pools: a water column dominated by increasingly autochthonous, macrophytic DOM, and sediments dominated by autochthonous algal POM.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 5, 2019
Journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters
Electronic ISSN 2378-2242
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Osburn, C. L., Anderson, N. J., Leng, M. J., Barry, C. D., & Whiteford, E. J. (2019). Stable isotopes reveal independent carbon pools across an Arctic hydro‐climatic gradient: Implications for the fate of carbon in warmer and drier conditions. Limnology and Oceanography Letters, https://doi.org/10.1002/lol2.10119
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/lol2.10119
Publisher URL https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lol2.10119

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